SSX2-4 expression in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer

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The expression of cancer/testis antigens SSX2, SSX3, and SSX4 in non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) was examined, since they are considered promising targets for cancer immunotherapy due to their immunogenicity and testis-restricted normal tissue expression. We characterized three SSX antibodies and performed immunohistochemical staining of 25 different normal tissues and 143 NSCLCs. The antibodies differed in binding to two distinctive splice variants of SSX2 that exhibited different subcellular staining patterns, suggesting that the two splice variants display different functions. SSX2-4 expression was only detected in 5 of 143 early-stage NSCLCs, which is rare compared to other cancer/testis antigens (e.g. MAGE-A and GAGE). However, further studies are needed to determine whether SSX can be used as a prognostic or predictive biomarker in NSCLC.

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